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Fact Sheet For 54-Inch Pipe

A significant area of Prince George’s County could be without water for several days because emergency repairs need to be made on a section of a 54-inch water main that supplies water to much of southern Prince George’s County.

Affected areas in southern Prince George’s County: Morningside, Hillcrest Heights, Camp Springs, Forest Heights, Temple Hills, Oxon Hill, Joint Base Andrews and the National Harbor.  But the area is hard to describe. The best thing to do is go to to use our interactive map to determine if you are affected.

The timeline is somewhat fluid, but all day Tuesday residents are encouraged to stockpile water, both from the tap and bottled water. (See below)

Some time late Tuesday WSSC will issue mandatory water restrictions. People will be asked to use only minimal amounts of waters. (See below)

This will allow the water system to replenish and then the 54-inch pipe will be taken out of service. Depending how much water customers can conserve, the system will remain operational for 12-15 hours.  This will help preserve fire protection capability.

Customer is the affected area could be out of water for several days.

The Problem

An Acoustic Fiber Optic (AFO) monitoring system inside the pipe alerted us to the potential failure.


A section of the pipe will need to be shut down so repairs can be made.


Repairs could take about five days.


Customers in the following areas can expect mandatory water restrictions to go into effect later in the day on Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

There is a map on our homepage – showing the affected area in red.

You can use the search box located on the upper left side of the page to type in an address and determine if it is in the affected area.

Ahead of the restrictions, customers in the affected area are encouraged to stock up on water because we are expecting a water shortage as a result of the main shut down and subsequent repairs.

Customers should stock up on bottled water for drinking.

Bathtubs can be filled with water to be used to flush toilets. If you have a swimming pool, that water can also be used for flushing toilets. 

The water in the system is safe to drink.

Water Storage Information

Store 1-2 gallons of safe water per person per day.

“Safe” is tap water in clean containers or store bought bottled water.

Store 1-2 gallons of purchased distilled water for any individuals with chronic health problems including weakened immune systems.

Store tap water in airtight, clean, food-grade plastic containers.

Do not store drinking water in glass or used milk containers.

Don’t forget to store water for your pets to drink.

You can use the water in your hot-water tank and ice cubes.

Water stored in a bath tub or swimming pool can be used to flush toilets.

Don’t forget, most people in the area are NOT affected.  So contact relatives and friends and ask for their assistance.

When water restrictions are put in place

Customers need to: 

  • Stop all outside water use – no watering lawns, shrubs, flowers; no washing cars, no topping off swimming pools
  • Use water only as necessary – i.e., shorter showers and turn off faucets after washing hands
  • Limit flushing toilets (do not flush after every use)
  • Postpone using washing machines and dishwashers 


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